When it comes to the subject of love we always hope that there are no real significant barriers to its success. In our hearts, if not in our heads, we’re convinced that love will always trump practical concerns such as money, social class, race and even gender.
But what about age? And what about age as it relates to older women involved with younger men? Though men have been enjoying May-December romances forever, women haven’t been afforded the same freedom necessarily. Culturally, the older woman/younger man dynamic is perceived as an oddity, or a fluke.
Fortunately, that’s changing as more older-woman and younger-man couplings make headlines.
Actress Robin Wright, 47, is engaged to fellow actor Ben Foster, 33. Pop star Shakira is involved with a man 10 years her junior. Actor Hugh Jackman has been married to Deborra-Lee Furness for 17 years. She is 13 years older than her mate.
A recent article in Oprah magazine looked at a handful of real-life May-December romances, focusing mainly on those between older women and younger men.
The age gaps spanned anywhere from 10 to 14 years, with women in their late 40s and early 50s enjoying relationships and/or marriage with men in their late 20s or 30s.
Questions related to aging cropped up, naturally. Couples in this situation had to address the fertility concern head-on, with some choosing to take the leap relatively quickly while others took a pass.
And then there’s also the concern about one’s looks.
One woman, who is married to a man 14 years younger, said the only time she feels threatened by her age is when she looks in the mirror.
But that fear has forced her to come up with her own solution to the issue.
“When you’re with a younger person, you have to think, ‘What’s going to happen in five years? Ten? Is he going to leave me?’ Your answer could be, ‘I’m going to get a facelift.’ My answer is, ‘I’m going to be such a beautiful person inside that it’s going to shine through to the outside,'” she told the magazine.
No matter what your age, to go forward in life with an eye toward becoming a kinder, more loving person sounds like an infinitely wiser approach to keeping love alive than worrying over the inevitable appearance of laugh lines.
Watch: Man Survey: What are you self-conscious about?